A few questions have been forwarded to me for a column to be published in THE HINDU. I responded with these answers..
1. What are the standards to which you as a teacher hold yourself? What’s your personal vision/critical rationale/purpose of teaching?
- I see myself as a learner first and then a facilitator. I believe that no one can be taught. Yes, I can inspire one to learn with my enthusiasm and energy, the discipline and standards I set for myself and the way I go about, all the time, in pursuit of realizing my potential. Potential is unlimited, that is the philosophy I subscribe to. Walk the talk is the methodology.
- My rationale of facilitating, is to help every individual realize his or her potential. Towards making it happen, I am always creating a learning environment for them to explore, experience and discover; sharing my learning, and bringing in outstanding achievers to interact with the youth. That face-2-face exchanges make a huge difference.
- It is all about enabling an individual set goal for oneself and chasing them. Once that happens, everything else will fall in place.
2. What educational goals do you expect of yourself in the classroom? What are you committed to doing/achieving?
3. How do you approach your instruction methods to achieve those standards? How do you put them into practice?
4. How well do you model these expectations? How do you evaluate whether you’ve accomplished those standards?
(I found all these questions closely related, hence I am clubbing them to answer)
- Study, explore, experiment, interact, learn and contribute. I live by a maxim for myself, “Every day I will do something, which I have never done before”. It could be in any form – reading, meeting, interacting, and writing that fosters my learning and quenches my thirst. Every new experience I create for myself is of immense value in enriching the learning environment – for self and for others.
- In the similar vein, as a facilitator, I create experiences in the learning environment that enables learners to realize and comprehend the concepts through experiential learning, more than the theoretical lectures of the concepts. So, for me, learning is bottom-up. Knowledge is always built, and cannot be imparted!
- I continue to live by these benchmarks. I share all my learning with the co-learners (students) through various means – in the classroom, through my blog (www.sreeni.org), sharing of interesting articles or sources through various media – email, social forums etc.
- I have always lived by these standards. The feedback one gets is a great indicator. There are formal, written ones and informal ones too. Those that I keep getting are-
o How do you have so much of energy? Your presence makes a big difference;
o My absence is being pointed out, whenever I am traveling and not seen on the campus.
o “What all activities do you do? It is hard to point out where you do not excel?”
o “Rarely we see anyone take so much interest in everything that happens around, like you. In fact none”
o “You cannot measure everyone with same yardstick that you measure for yourself?”
Apart from facilitating at the business school, IWSB – Indus World School of Busines, and the Mentors of the K-12 schools (IWS), I do a lot of workshops and public seminars on “Realizing ones potential and dreams” and “Think Big, Start Small” for the youth of the country, “Enabling your child to excel” for parents of school going children. I travel about 200+ days in a year motivating the youth. These sessions give instant feedback about how do the participants feel. They feel charged and share what will they set for themselves and achieve in the next one-year. Many a times, people come to meet me later to share that they did achieve their goal that they set out with after those sessions. The videos and presentations of these sessions are available on my website / blog www.sreeni.org.